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Monday, December 27, 2010

Midnight Mary (1933)

While awaiting the verdict in her murder trial, a woman (Loretta Young) reflects back on her life, from her days as a nine year old orphan, jailed for a crime she never committed, the mistress of a mobster (Ricardo Cortez), the millionaire (Franchot Tone) who became the love of her life and eventually to the events that lead to the killing. William Wellman directs this pre-code melodrama so it's quite adult in its themes and frank in its depiction of sex. Wellman's technique has almost always been to let the story take front and center and it's no different here. He allows the narrative to swiftly move along with the actors adroitly slipping into their characters. If the ending comes across as sentimental and unrealistic, it can be forgiven since the journey has been fulfilling. With Una Merkel and Andy Devine at his most annoying.

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